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Josh Cribbs

humble, raising hell and here to open up


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Masthead Editor’s Letter Fine-Tune Flaunt Fit Feature Faith Food Fun Last Shot


Auto-Tune Auto-Tune shouldn’t be automatic. Open Mic Check out Kent’s “vibrant music” scene. Jeans Entrepreneurs creates customizable jeans. Tanning Bronze hue outweighs hazard. Workout Trapped in a small space? Get a big workout and lose weight. Anniversary It’s our 25th Burr-thday!

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Cribbs Josh Cribbs. Need we say more? Religion Three faiths. Three students. Three stories. Politics The class of 2012 battles high school yearbook style.

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Desserts Crawl around Kent for decadent desserts. E3 Plug into the latest trends in gaming. Romantic Movie-worthy spots to swoon your sweetie. Palm Line up your life.

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231 Franklin Hall Kent State University Kent, Ohio 44242 330-672-2947

Jennifer Shore Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Rabab Al-Sharif Assistant Editor Leighann McGivern Art Director Kelly Lipovich Photo Editor Rachel Kilroy


Assistant Designers Matt Claney,

Michelle Menuez, Katie Pannell, Leah Perrino, Terran Washington Artist Rachael Chillcott


Copy Desk Chief Nicole Aikens Copy Editors casey nichols, mathias peralta,

angela pino, kelly tunney

Online Editors Emily Inverso, Courtney Kerrigan Webmaster Brad Tansey


Promotions Editor Lindsy Neer Promotions Team Olivia Chapman, ZACH REMINGTON


Advertising Manager Tami bongiorni Advertising Sales Bethany English Advertising Designer Farin Blackburn


Business Manager lori cantor Production Manager chris sharron Adviser Jacqueline marino The Burr is an independent publication at Kent State University created for and by students that publishes twice each semester. This magazine was made possible with the support of Campus Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress, online at Visit! Our sponsor’s website offers hard-hitting journalism, analysis and multimedia on issues of the greatest concern to young people.

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editor’s letter

How did you celebrate your last birthday? Did you go to Ray’s and spin the wheel? Did you have a cake topped with two dozen candles? Did you unwrap the perfect gift? Well, it is The Burr’s 25th birthday, and instead of drinking and singing, it is time for a facelift. Since 1986, you have been reading stories about music, politics, student life, sex, fashion, entertainment, food and trends. Keep doing that. We’re just going to redesign the magazine and publish it more often. OK? Our first issue this semester is a little bit of everything. You could have a superlative time with political candidates, or check out the most romantic places in Kent after you go on a dessert crawl. You could listen to Auto-Tuned songs while doing your indoor workouts. You could have a denim good time in our fashion section. Oh, and you could get to know a guy named Josh Cribbs. Next month, you’ll sink your teeth into our second and final issue of the semester. I don’t want to give everything away, but it’s going to be a bloody good time. Jennifer Shore editor-in-chief fall 2011 issue 1 7

8 the burr Fall 2011 • @TheBurrMagazine •


Mood music If your earbuds buzz with freshly Auto-Tuned tracks, or you are looking for some amateur entertainment, turn the page. fall 2011 issue 1 9


AuTO-TunE AuTO-TunE iS MAking iTS PlACE in POPulAR MuSiC, buT ShOulD iT bE An ACCEPTAblE ADDiTiOn? words setH coHen


ince the early 2000s, there has been the upbringing of an unusual trend of musical influence. T-Pain, Kanye West and even Rebecca Black use this form of technology. All of their songs are different, but the sound of their voices is similarly electronic and artificial. It’s called Auto-Tune, and it’s a type of computer software that takes vocal sounds and instantly jabs them onto the proper note, moving them to a preferred pitch. Time Magazine said it is the “Photoshop for the human voice.” It was created by Harold “Dr. Andy” Hildebrand, of Antares Audio Technologies in Scotts Valley, Calif. It can transform the most tone deaf of singers into the perfect technicalities of vocal enrichment. Is Auto-Tune cheating music, or has it become a new musical phenomenon? Let’s start with an argument made by Dr. Andy. According to records from the Public Broadcasting Service’s website for its TV show, “NOVA,” in an interview on July 7, 2009, people all around the United States asked Dr. Andy his reasons for creating Auto-Tune software for acceptable use.

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Ten of those people asked if his software is considered an easy and fake way to make money because it turns non-singers into singers, but Dr. Andy explained it is for entertainment purposes only. “Just as GM didn’t set out to create auto accidents, we didn’t intend non-artistic uses of Auto-Tune,” Dr. Andy said. “Pop music is entertainment, like movies. Is the actor who plays Batman ‘cheating’ because he can’t really fly?” “Cheating music” is not considered the fault of Auto-Tune, Dr. Andy said. People listen to this type of music for entertainment purposes with hip-hop being one of the leading genres. Auto-Tune can be used for touch-ups without the listener noticing the difference, Dr. Andy said. “When used without excess, it’s difficult to notice AutoTune’s presence,” Dr. Andy said. “Being a trained musician, it’s clear to me that if every note of a singer’s performance is in tune, Auto-Tune has been used.” The Gregory Brothers, a YouTube sensation with millions of hits, use their Auto-Tune talent to transform pop culture

good to begin with,” Wayne said. events such as the “Bed Intruder Song” from the Antoine Dodson news clip and Charlie Sheen’s “Winning!” from ABC’s One artist likes to use computers on music to comprise an “Good Morning America.” unusual sound from movies and TV shows. Nick Bertke, otherIn a recent article from College News magazine, the wise known as “Pogo” is a 23-year-old with millions of hits on Gregory Brothers talked about their run to fame all from their YouTube. He doesn’t just use sounds from the media, he makes use of the software. his own with a hand brushing though a bush, a flower pot Michael Gregory said one of the breakthroughs was adding lightly tapped and shovels digging the ground for sound. He humor to news channels through instrumentation and Autodoes this by taking clips of sound that may make a good beat or Tuning, which made them more fun and entertaining to watch. rhythm. Such TV shows and movies are “Alice in Wonderland,” “It came to our attention that TV news was boring,” Michael “Dexter,” “Toy Story” and “Terminator 2.” Percussion, rhythmic Gregory said. “And that was directly correlated with the lack forms of heightened tone and pitch are his key features to findof singing and bass lines in the news. We thought that was a ing a signature quality for the sounds he generates. problem that we could address.” “I was in a band growing up,” Pogo said. “I was the drumTheir music, according to their website, serves as musical mer, and I always fell back on drumming outside the group, so comedic entertainment. “Entertainment” being the word Dr. I guess you can say I have an ear for rhythm, and I think that’s Andy remarked during his interview. where some of it comes from.” Though the songs are Auto-Tuned, the question is whether As a child, his parents sat him down to watch musicals. that would have a positive or negative impact on their live Right away, he fell in love with the music and listened to how a performances, but Evan Gregory said on tours, they work with certain word was sung. He would rewind back to certain parts live bands and haven’t disappointed the fan base. Begging the in order to really look at the piece and first captured these argument that Auto-Tune is, for its main purpose, made for sounds as a life-long project at age 13. entertainment purposes, there are many opposing opinions. “What I make is essentially free marketing for back-catalog In a 2010 article, “The 50 Worst Inventions,” by Dan films,” Pogo said. “It certainly doesn’t make me any money Fletcher for Time Magazine, Auto-Tuning was No. 15. directly, and it doesn’t infringe on any copyright laws that I’m “It’s a technology that can make bad singers sound good and aware of.” really bad singers sound like robots,” Fletcher wrote. “It gives He has not run into any other copyright laws but has been singers who sound like Kanye West or Cher the misplaced commissioned by Disney and Showtime as opposed to being confidence that they too can croon. Thanks a lot, computers.” sued by them. In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Ryan Clement, of Mix Makers Productions and Ryan Clem“For video-work, I use Final Cut,” Pogo said. “For extractent Productions out in Burbank, Calif., has worked with artists ing my samples and sounds, I use Adobe Audition and for such as The Game. He said Auto-Tuning isn’t useful for the sequencing them, arranging my songs and mastering them, I music industry anymore. use FL Studio.” “Anybody could sing with Auto-Tune,” Clement said. “It Typically, he can create a commissioned piece within three hides your real talent. It makes you sound more talented than to four weeks, but some personal projects can take a little more you actually are and more labels now are looking for people for than a year if he hasn’t found the right way to put it all together. your real voice instead.” It’s almost like a huge jigsaw puzzle coming into place, only In Culver City, Calif., Bob Wayne, director and founder of some pieces are missing. Sunburst Recording, considers his musical taste old school. He “I hope my music will inspire people to be happy,” Pogo leans toward jazz, blues and blue-grass, but he doesn’t really lissaid. “My friends and family say it helps them get through the ten to much rap or heavy metal. He, too, like Clement, believes day, and with my YouTube account, I know that I’ve connected Auto-Tuning doesn’t belong in music. In fact, he’s expressed an emotion with all these people. It really is quite an amazing much hatred towards the technology and said it’s destroyed the feeling.” way music is produced. With Auto-Tune as a substitution for musical enhancement, “I think it’s unethical,” Wayne said. “It’s one step above havas well as computers taking over the next stage of our musical ing somebody else sing your tracks. It’s extremely unethical.” phase, many can argue computers can produce either a good Though the software is used in a studio, Wayne knows sound or a negative impact, but the music creates the appeal for Auto-Tune live is just as bad because an audience expects there to be a similar, if not the same, sound as if it were on the album. someone to listen and enjoy as their new stage of listening. “We’ve gone from Ray Charles to Auto-Tuning,” Pogo said. In reality, that’s not the case, which leaves fans at a concert “Music has become industrialized that it’s now about tackling disappointed. the most superficial appeals in society and all about making “They’re just not that good; they’re just not that talented, and that’s why they are bad live because they were never that money.” b

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tring lights illuminate the red trim on the small stage as the dimming overhead lights turn the mood serious. Moments ago a 73-year-old, who always seems to be wearing a cowboy hat and goes by “Beans,” won over the crowd with his rendition of a Johnny Cash song. The owner of the place sang back up vocals for Bill Beans, a retired truck driver, from behind the bar as the 20 to 30 other people watching tapped, bounced and smiled along with the performance. Now on the dimly lit stage, a teenage girl dressed in a colorful shirt, jean shorts, leggings and leg warmers pours out songs with original lyrics inspired by the lives of people she knows. Her hands effortlessly run over the keyboard as

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she makes eye contact with a friend snapping photos. The Ohio Music Shop in downtown Kent hosts an open mic night at 7 p.m. Thursdays. The range of performers and relaxed atmosphere makes this gathering unique. The owners of Ohio Music Shop have been hosting open mic since they moved into the store in Fall 2010. Jeff Fulkman, one of the five Ohio Music Shop owners, said the stage and bar built into their store gave them the opportunity to provide a place for the many talented musicians in Kent to perform. “It’s such a vibrant, musical city,” he said. Part owner Woody James emphasized that musicians just starting off needed a place to feel comfortable performing.

fine-tune “We wanted to give people a chance to develop their skills playing amongst other people who are further along than them and to give them a chance to learn and to be mentored,” he said. “Our motto is, ‘This is a great place to come suck for the first time.’” On an average Thursday night during the school year, 12 to 18 performers take the stage for a crowd of 40 to 50 people. In the summer, nine to 10 people perform in front of a crowd of about 20 people. Each performance usually consists of three or four songs played by a full band or solo artist with a range of instruments. Fulkman said they’re open to whatever people want to perform, and they’ve even had a performer sing a capella. About half of the performances are original songs, and the others are covers. “You’re sort of the star for 15 to 20 minutes,” Fulkman said. “The variety of people we get are everything from high school kids, singer-songwriters to old guys like us that are still playing guitar, so it’s a real good mix.” Kassie Gilbert, 18, of Kent who plays her original songs on the keyboard, said she keeps going back to Ohio Music Shop’s open mic because she likes the atmosphere. “Everyone’s there just to listen and to pay attention to your music,” she said. “You’re kind of sending your message out with people of all ages. It’s just about sharing music with people.” Gilbert started taking piano lessons at age 7 and wrote her first musical composition at age 12. She performed at classical concerts before but didn’t play her own pieces in front of an audience until March 2011. Gilbert said most of her songs are written from hearing about other people’s experiences. “A friend of mine will come to me with a story, and that’s usually what I base my pieces off of,” she said. “The stories I usually choose from friends and family are ones I can somewhat relate to so then I can put their experi-

ence and my experience together so anyone who’s gone through that experience can relate. I try to make all of my pieces so it relates to everyone in one way or another. “ Attending the open mic night helps Gilbert improve her skills by learning from other performers. She said it’s a good opportunity to exchange ideas and get to know other musicians. One performer Gilbert enjoys seeing is Beans. “I love listening to him kind of taking it back in time,” she said. Beans, of Diamond, Ohio, first played at the open mic night at the end of August. Beans taught himself how to play guitar in the ‘50s and performed in honky-tonks during the ‘60s as a back-up singer. Once disco music became popular, he put down his guitar until about three years ago. Then he played old rock and country songs around his house and with his family and friends, but he hadn’t performed until his nephew convinced him to play at Ohio Music Shop’s open mic night. “I thought when I got up there that I would really be nervous, but after I got up there and sat down and got the guitar, it’s just like everything else is wiped out, and I just did my thing,” he said. “Nixon could be sitting out there, and it just wouldn’t make any difference.” He said he always makes sure to attribute the songs to the original artists before he plays them. Talking about where the songs came from relaxes him on stage and gives him the opportunity to fully share the music he loves. Beans was surprised by how much everyone enjoyed hearing him play. Older people were excited to know the words to the songs he covered and young performers he didn’t ever expect to know the songs complimented him on his renditions. “It’s a shock, to be honest with you,” he said.

ABOVE: Guitars like this are sold at the Ohio Music Shop located in downtown Kent on Main Street. LEFT: Folk artist Dan Socha plays an acoustic version of one of his favorite songs, “Summertime.”

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“I thought when I got up there that I would really be nervous, but after I got up there and sat down and got the guitar, it’s just like everything else is wiped out, and I just did my thing.” beans

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“I thought I’d come over here and make a complete ass of myself and that’d be the end of it, but it didn’t happen.” The first time Beans performed at open mic, one of the owners went on stage with him and explained to the audience that it was his first time. Fulkman said one of the unique things about their open mic night is that they’ll help artists who are nervous about or new to performing. “It’s a lot easier if there’s someone standing next to you doing the same thing,” Fulkman said. James said they also give performers feedback about how they can improve. “Unlike most open mics, if someone gets up and plays something that we think it’d be better if they did something differently, we tell them that,” he said. Kelcie Brahce, a 15-year-old sophomore at Kent Roosevelt High School, said she keeps going back to Ohio Music Shop’s open mic night because she appreciates that the owners took an interest in her. “They critiqued me a little bit and said I should sing louder,” she said. “They’re always encouraging me to write more songs.” Brahce has been playing guitar for three years and singing most of her life. She attended Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron from fourth to eighth grade, where she was able to develop her singing by working on it every day.

At Ohio Music’s open mic night, she performs original songs and covers. “I try to play open mic as much as I can,” she said. “I just like playing for people. I like getting people’s feedback and seeing how they liked it.” Brahce said she’s written 10 original songs and gets inspiration from John Lennon and Bob Marley. “Most are about love, of course, but some are about having a good kind of life and enjoying yourself,” she said. “Others are kind of dark, but I just write about whatever comes to mind.” After hearing her play at open mic a few times, James and Fulkman asked Brahce to open for their Neil Young tribute band, Reil Young, at the Akron Civic Theatre. “It was exhilarating,” Brahce said. “It was scary, but it was so cool to experience that. I had my own dressing room with a shower in it, and I got to bring my friends down. It was fun.” Brahce hopes to pursue a music career in the future as a composer or music teacher. “I’ve just always loved music and I’ve always been able to connect it with my feelings in life,” she said. “It’s how I express my emotions, and it’s really fun for me.” Brahce said she encourages anyone considering performing at Ohio Music’s open mic night to try it out. “Don’t be nervous at all,” she said. “The people there are great. Just stick with it, and keep doing what you love.” b

photos Rachel Kilroy The Ohio Music Shop sells various guitars hand crafted by part owner Woody James.

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denim dream Whether your favorite pair of jeans are dark washed, skinny or sitting in the back of your closet, zip into our denim dreamland. fall 2011 issue 1 17

blue jean dream words megan wilkinson photos FRANKlyn Canty Jeans usually come in blue, black and gray. They also never seem to fit when bought from the department store or thrift shop. One Kent State student wants to change this. Ricky Bortz, sophomore pre-business major, brings different colors to the denim industry as he launches a new clothing line called Jenius Jeans, which will allow consumers to create a pair of jeans just for them. Bortz shared his story on how he managed to pull together a business early in his career and what his goals are for the product. NOTE: These jeans are not from the Jenius 18 the burr Jean Falllabel. 2011


Bortz and Blake Davis, pre-business management major, promote the Jenius Jeans line by wearing T-shirts with the company’s logo.

Q: When did you first start the Jenius Jeans label?

Q: What motivated you to launch the jean line?

A: I started about two years ago. I was a junior in high school when I had the idea. I just started noticing that True Religion jeans were really popular, and I started seeing kids buying jeans for cool pockets and designs, and it sparked my ideas.

A: I already had a business before. I created a mini social networking site with some friends. All my friends from high school were on it. It really got me interested in marketing and business and helped me gain experience. The site itself did a lot of advertising for clothing.

Q: What is unique about Jenius Jeans?

Q: How did you get your label?

A: The whole concept is that the back pocket is removable. If you were to buy jeans from the store, they would have a generic pocket design. Say you have a pair of red shoes you want to match your outfit. With Jenius Jeans, you can go buy red pockets to match those shoes. They zip onto the jeans since they’re customizable.

A: It was rough. The hardest part was starting it since I was so young, and it is difficult to get respect from bigger businessmen. When I sat in rooms with them, they didn’t really respect me and thought they could take advantage of me or other kids with good ideas. But my parents helped me out with it. They warned me businesspeople would try to take advantage of me, but I got through it. You just have to present yourself like you’re one of them.

Q: Have any other jean companies done something like this before?

Q: Did you come up with the plans all by yourself?

A: No. That’s why we’re trying to build some hype before we release them. We’re still waiting for contracts to be presented and signed, too. I’m hoping everything will be settled in a couple months.

A: Mostly, but my dad was really good at securing me in the business since he is an artist and knows how to patent things. My mom is also good with marketing and connecting, so they both really helped me along with the big decisions. fall 2011 issue 1 19



Q: How did you find time to do this around classes? A: It’s difficult to juggle. Last year, I was loaded with work, and I would stay up late to talk to manufacturers overseas. It was the hard part talking to them every other day about updates. I had to plan my time efficiently last year and focus on school during the weeks.

To achieve frayed edges, rub sandpaper on pockets and hems. Try using different “grits” to get different results (Rule of Thumb: The lower the grit, the rougher the sandpaper)

Q: You’re a business major, right? What other businesses do you intend to launch in the future? A: Whatever comes my way. I’ve been offered a few things with friends, and some people just want me to give them input on their projects. I just want to stick to [Jenius Jeans] for the time being. It all depends on what the situation is.

Q: Do you plan on wearing your own product when it’s done being manufactured?

A: I wear promotional T-shirts on occasion, but I really like to see other people wearing them. It’s almost like I get tired of it. But seeing other kids on campus wearing my promotional shirts is inspiring. This line is relevant to what the kids today want, not what businessmen in suits want.  The Jenius Jeans line is still being manufactured and produced, but Bortz predicts the jeans will be up for sale early next year.

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fades Bleach can be tricky to use, but it does a great job at fading denim. Be sure to dilute the bleach with water so the jeans don’t become weaker. Explore with spray bottles and shape cutouts.


weapons of mass Destruction tHe burr’s Guide to destroyinG denim graphic micHelle menuez

Jewels Use a hot glue gun to add gems or rhinestones. Spikes and studs can be used for a rocker look. Jewelry adhesive can also work as a substitute for the glue gun.

rips Cheese graters make ripping jeans easy. Just keep rubbing until the desired rip is reached. Use the different sides of the grater to achieve different looks.

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Fit health habits Claustrophobia at its finest, whether you’re getting your sweat on in a tanning bed or your room.

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The risks are out there, but the tanning beds are still full. words Rachel Jones photo MCT CAMPUS


y name is Rachel Jones, and I am a tanner. Or at least I used to be. I tanned for a few months my junior and senior years of high school to look good for prom, then retired my tanning goggles. But last spring, I started up again. Compared to my classmates who spent spring break at places with real sunlight, I looked like a ghost. So my roommates and I got tanning packages at Bahama Bodies in Kent for a month. We would go about five days a week. The intoxicating aroma of coconut and tropical fruits greeted us at the door. Being surrounded by bright yellow walls, tabloid magazines and upbeat music was my mini-vacation. I couldn’t wait for a

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room to become available, so I could slather on some bronzing lotion and climb into the bright, warm bed. That’s when my world would just stop. Term papers, exams, work — all gone. The only thing on my mind was the music pouring through the speakers and the gentle heat on my skin. Sometimes, I would even doze off for a minute or two because I was so relaxed. And when I left, I genuinely felt happier — and darker! — already looking forward to my next session. Obviously, I know what I was doing was risky. Tanning exposes the skin to UV-rays, which can cause skin cancer and other forms of skin damage. But even knowing the negative side effects, I still did it. And I was not the only tanner at the salon.

fit Mental Matters

Despite tanning’s bad rep, Diane Rock, owner of Bedrock Tanning in Ravenna, said she’s actually seen an increase in customers during the salon’s eight years of business. She said it’s the way tanning makes her customers feel that brings them back. “It’s the appearance and the endorphins,” Rock said. “Tanning releases endorphins, which make you feel good. It puts you in a good mood.” John Updegraff, assistant professor of health psychology at Kent State, said the light given off in tanning beds also increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that contributes to positive feelings. Some psychologists even use light therapy to help patients who have depression. “Light therapy seems to work by targeting serotonin in the brain, which regulates things in the brain like a positive mood,” Updegraff explained. “The main difference between light therapy and tanning is light therapy doesn’t have ultraviolet rays that tanning has.” I can testify that tanning put me in a better mood. Rock said her customers always say they feel relaxed when they leave, and as a tanner herself, she agrees. “I feel like I’ve been on a vacation because I’ve got to tan,” Rock said. “I’m an older lady, so the warmth of the bed really feels good.” The good feelings tanners get will make them want to come back for another session, but Updegraff said that does not make it addictive. “I’ve heard people talk about tanning as if they are addicted because they feel good after and they want to do it again,” Updegraff said. “That certainly doesn’t qualify as an actual addiction. I don’t think it has the same addictive properties as, say, nicotine.”

Bodily Benefits

While too much UV-ray exposure can cause damage to the skin, Rock said regulated tanning does have its benefits. “It gives Vitamin D, which is a cancer-fighting vitamin,” Rock said. “People in Northeast Ohio lack Vitamin D because we are in one of the most overcast areas in the United States.” Even with a proper diet, Rock said a Vitamin D supplement is needed to meet the daily recommendations. People with medical problems also benefit from tanning. The heat helps relax arthritis, back pain and cramps. Rock said the light in tanning beds is also good for clearing up psoriasis and eczema. “It’s good for acne,” she added. “We do have dermatologists that actually send their patients to tan.” Tanning can also make skin stronger against environmental damages. The theory of getting a “base tan” before going somewhere hot and sunny to prevent sunburns actually has some truth to it. “It’s really good if you’re going to a southern climate because you want to tan to prepare your skin,” Rock said. “The southern sun is hotter. If you’re outside, you have to still use sunscreen, but your tan will protect you for a short amount of time.” Tanning lotions also prepare the skin for tans.

“Your body’s only going to produce a certain amount of melanin [which provides skin color], and that’s it,” Rock said. “The lotion will boost that level or give bronzers to give you color. And it’s not an orange color anymore. It’s more natural if you buy a salon-quality lotion.” The vitamins and minerals in the lotions also make skin soft and moisturized. But let’s be serious. The real effect tanners want their skin to have is a dark, bronze glow. “If you’re tan and you look in the mirror, you feel good,” Rock said.

I know what I was doing was risky. But even knowing the negative side effects, I still did it. rachel jones Smart Sunning

To work at a tanning salon, Rock said you have to take a course to become a certified tanning professional. The staff members know the amount of tan time each customer should do to achieve their desired shade without turning red first. “If you tan in a controlled environment — meaning indoors — your chances for burning should be nil,” Rock said. “You won’t get overexposed. We’re trained to tan you without burning you.” The professionals know when to increase time for a tanning session. Since the machines are regulated by a computer up front, there is no way for the tanner to add time him or herself. When people don’t listen to the professionals or try to tan more than once in a day, that’s when Rock said skin can be damaged. “In a lot of cases, people, especially young adults, don’t always see the risks of things like tanning as really applying to them,” Updegraff said. “Even though they might realize for other people, tanning could have some potentially harmful effects, those things aren’t tangible when you’re young. The sorts of things that resonate with them in the immediate moment are the short term benefits.” Rock said it’s important to be sensible about tanning your body, which includes what you put in it. “The only time you really shouldn’t tan is if you’re on certain antibiotics,” Rock said. “The bottle will tell you to stay out of the sun, whether it’s outside or inside. You want to be well aware if you are on an antibiotic that requires that. And you have to get it out of your system.” I do miss tanning. It was 15 minutes of “me time” almost every day, and my mocha skin tone wasn’t bad either. But if people want to tan, they need to know the risks, know the tips for smart tanning and know if it’s really right for them. “It’s a personal choice when it comes down to it,” Rock said. “You have to weigh your feelings. If you tan extensively, it can be a very rewarding experience.” b fall 2011 issue 1 25

DORM-SIZED EXERCISE S words Taylor Rogers photos Jackie ELLIOT

ome of us just don’t have the time or the patience to walk across campus for a quick workout. We need a routine that we can do from the comfort of our rooms with as few resources as possible. After all, who could possibly afford a BodyCraft™ Compact 2-in-1 Xpress Pro, let alone fit it into a dorm room? The following exercises don’t require much equipment, much space or much time. Do them once a day, five days a week, and follow them up with a good stretch. You’ll feel good, and your roommate will thank you for leaving the home gym where it belongs — at home.


Place one foot firmly on the ground and the opposite knee on the chair. Keep your back flat. Place the weight in the hand that is farthest from the chair, keeping that arm against your body. Pull up on your arm, creating a right angle, and slowly lower it down. Do three sets of 15. Repeat using the other arm.

ABS your re, pushing tu s o p d in so it’s o Sit with go k and raising your ch ts in bac weigh shoulders r. Hold the o o fl e th your h rists facing parallel wit w r u o y h tate u, wit tracted, ro n o c front of yo s b a r s and ing you ep your hip nd e body. Keep K t. h g ri to the ur abs a your torso ontract yo C . rd a w r fo Rotate legs facing ight back to center. we bring your Repeat. to the left.

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fit TRICEPS irectly rward and d fo t e fe r u o y t Stand with b one weigh ra G . rs e ld u sho g both below your ur head usin o y d in h e b hand and place it ou have one y re su e k a ht, hands. M p of the weig to e th d n u er the wrapped aro pport it. Low su to r e th o orkusing the up slowly, w k c a b it g n bri t. weight and arms. Repea r u o y f o s k c ing the ba



Begin standing or sitting with your elbows bent in front of your body and your palms facing your chest. Rotate your hands out as you push your arms over your head. As you fully extend your arms, your palms should face out. Lower the weights down, rotating your hands back to their starting position. Repeat.

Stand with yo ur feet should er width apart. Holdin g the dumbb e ll s in both hands, st ep forward w ith leg, bending your knee into one a right angle and a d eep lunge. Pu sh off from the gro und and com e back to your original position. Rep eat with your other le g.

fall 2011 issue 1 27


cupcakes and cribbs Which seems more delectable? A cupcake slathered in rich icing or a ripped football player? Tweet and tell! @TheBurrMagazine fall 2011 issue 1 29

HappytoBirthday The Burr! feature

We have been telling you everyone else’s stories for a quarter century. Here is ours. words racHel Jones

n one of the old Chestnut Burr offices in 1985, journalism students Laura (Buterbaugh) Gordon and Thomas Lewis looked at the stacks of thick, traditional Chestnut Burr yearbooks. They did a lot of leafing through the yearbooks, which resembled the same mementos purchased in high school and left on the shelf to collect dust. They were filled with the same class pictures and team portraits, but for a campus of Kent State’s size, it couldn’t possibly capture everything. Since they were ineffective, not many students bought them. That’s when Lewis and Gordon came up with the perfect solution. “We were young things then and had lots of energy, so we thought, ‘Why don’t we get a magazine?’” Gordon said. “We don’t have a magazine on campus, and it’s about time we did.” The pair approached Joe Harper, director of the School of Communications at the time and tried to persuade him to support their idea. Harper was already talking to his friend

at the Akron Beacon Journal, who told him the magazine industry would overcome the downfall newspapers were experiencing. He decided to start a magazine major at Kent State with a student-run magazine as the supplement, eliminating the Chestnut Burr yearbooks in the process. “The Chestnut Burr was getting so expensive that it was costing us out of student fees something like $20 to $25, and fewer than 2,000 students bought it,” Harper explained. “You had to pay $15. Most of the faculty didn’t think the yearbook served the students well.” Ann Schierhorn, news professor at Kent State and former adviser for The Burr, said the yearbook was selling only 500 subscriptions, so it was not supporting itself. A magazine would be free for students and provide fresher content than an annual yearbook. Harper even called then-president Michael Schwartz to ask if it was OK to stop producing the yearbook. “He said, ‘Get rid of it.’” Once Harper was on their side, Gordon said she and Lewis made a proposal to present to the Student Publications Policy Council.

fall 2011 issue 1 31


“At first, people seemed very reluctant,” Gordon admitted. “I think because it was new. They weren’t going to hand over a big budget to students. It was a huge position, and they made us work for it.” The board agreed to launch the publication as long as Gordon and Lewis served as co-editors. Junior news major Gordon took over content, and senior photo illustration major Lewis took care of the art. “We had to prove our case and given how young we were and completely inexperienced, I was proud of Lewis and I for being able to do that,” Gordon said. “We were just kids and these were grown people who ran universities.” Now that she was running a magazine at a university with only one student majoring in magazine journalism, Gordon said they had to scour Taylor Hall — where journalism classes were held at the time — for any Daily Kent Stater writers or friends of friends who wanted to contribute to the magazine. Gordon found some dif-

32 the burr Fall 2011

ficulties working with a new staff, especially since most of its members had never written a magazine article before. The main theme for the first issue of Chestnut Burr Magazine in Spring 1986 was the university’s 75th birthday. Schwartz graced that inaugural cover, wearing a tuxedo and holding a birthday cake for Kent State,

it with us to a café. It was fun mostly because the president was such a good sport about it.” Gordon said the cover and the fun content behind it definitely attracted students. While she admitted “not every article was a pearl of wisdom,” since it was something new that she and Lewis had accomplished, she was still proud.

I think we hoped Chestnut Burr Magazine would make an impression and not be something that would be dropped. laura gordon but his face popped up in several other pictures in the magazine, which he did not pose for. “I do remember that cardboard cutout [of Schwartz] was so fun,” Gordon said with a laugh. “We’d hide it places that were kind of bizarre, or we’d take

Lewis graduated that spring, and Gordon became the managing editor of the Daily Kent Stater her senior year, leaving the co-editor positions vacant. “My job was really to invent it and get it off the ground,” Gordon said. “I left it as a legacy.”


The first issue’s adviser, Charlie Brill, left at the end of the semester and created another role in the magazine vacant. Enter: Ann Schierhorn. “I think we hoped Chestnut Burr Magazine would make an impression and not be something that would be dropped,” Gordon said. “I think we were very fortunate that Ann Schierhorn came at that time to take over and shepherd it forward so quickly.” Harper hired Schierhorn to run the newly developed magazine major, and one of her duties was to act as adviser to Chestnut Burr Magazine. With still just one magazine major, Mary Beth Newhart, Schierhorn struggled to find an editor. But Newhart stepped up, and Chestnut Burr Magazine had its second issue. “I think there was excitement,” Schierhorn said. “The magazine program developed very quickly. That helped the development of the magazine. The magazine is an extra-curricular activity, so any student at the university can apply to work on the magazine.” Even other student groups, including Student Senate, wanted their own publications after reading Chestnut Burr Magazine. Harper said he brushed off all proposals, saying Chestnut Burr Magazine was for all students. “I think a magazine gives you a sense of what happens at the university,” Schierhorn said. “When it first switched from the yearbook, the intention was that the magazine would have a long shelf life. That some students would want to keep it as they would a yearbook as a reminder of what campus was like when they were there.” “Chestnut” was first dropped from the magazine’s title for the Winter 1988 issue. Even when it was The Chestnut Burr, Schierhorn said the staff members already referred to the magazine as “The Burr” for short.

They wanted an official name change to be distinct from The Chestnut Burr yearbook and avoid confusion with the discontinued publication. “Also, all the chestnut trees died,” Schierhorn said. “Student’s didn’t even know what a chestnut burr looked like.” Based on the variety of stories covered over the years, almost every type of student is represented in The Burr. Schierhorn said each editor puts his or her personal stamp on each issue, evident as she sifted through a row of archives in her office. Covers featuring the Gulf War next to The TwistOffs next to binge drinking. “There have been serious issues, and there have been not-so-serious issues,” Schierhorn said, holding the Spring 1993 issue with a cover story on raves. “I think that it gives students a sense of what were the issues, what were students like. Not every story is going to represent every student by any means, but it gives you a view of what it was like to be a student at that time.” One thing the magazine frequently covers is May 4. Schierhorn said she encourages future staffs to put out anniversary issues and fill them with powerful stories. The magazine’s versatility is one of the reasons Harper thinks The Burr has been so successful. “That’s what the media didn’t do for so long: It did not innovate,” Harper said. “It did not stay abreast to the changes. With its [online version], too, The Burr’s met the needs of its readership — people on campus.” And as The Burr prepares to light the candles on its 25th birthday cake, Harper recalled predicting this all along. “I expected The Burr to last this long,” Harper said. “But the national prominence of The Burr is far beyond what I anticipated.” Here’s to 25 more years. b

fall 2011 issue 1 33

JOSH CRIBBS From tHe sHadows to tHe startinG lineuP: How tHe FlasHes’ Former Qb stole tHe sPotliGHt

words JenniFer sHore photos racHel kilroy


t is an intense game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The tackles are harsh. The sprints are dangerous. The throws are reckless. The standing tension is at a level only division rivals can ignite. It is Week 10 of the 2007 regular season, and Pittsburgh leads 24-21 with 11:32 left in the fourth quarter. Cleveland’s return specialist, Josh Cribbs, waits near the end zone to anticipate a kickoff return from Pittsburgh. The whistle blows. The players charge. The kick is low and short. “Their plan was to keep the ball away from me — if I’m on the right, to kick it to the left; if I’m on the left, to kick it to the right; to squib kick it, so I couldn’t get a regular jump on the ball,” Cribbs said. The ball soars through the air, bounces near the 25 yard line and ricochets off Cribbs’ shoulder pad. The ball is still active as it tumbles toward the end zone. “I had to make a split decision — run out and get as many yards as I can or try to wait to see if it’s going to fall in the end zone, but if it didn’t hit the end zone, then we would have had the ball on the 1-inch yard line,” Cribbs said. He grabs the ball, turns and propels himself toward the end of the field.

34 the burr fall 2011


fall 2011 issue 1 35


“By that time, the defense had converged on me,” Cribbs said. “They had specific lanes that they were responsible for, but because it hit off me, and it was a weird play, they were all bunched up trying to stop me.” With quick and efficient maneuvers, Cribbs manages to avoid the half dozen Pittsburgh players who hurl themselves at him. As he makes his way down the field, he almost steps out of bounds. The fans are screaming, and the commentators are going wild. Blurs of black and gold are sidestepped by those in brown, orange and white — they protect Cribbs as he effortlessly sprints toward the goal line and makes a touchdown. It was an incredible 100-yard run. “I didn’t believe I scored, and neither could they,” Cribbs said. “I saw the highlights from it, and watching Ben Roethlisberger’s face, he was like, ‘What the hell? What just happened?’ That was one of the best — if not the best run — I’ve ever had.” Cribbs credits this as his most memorable moment in his career thus far — he did not believe he “was capable of doing that.” With modesty and evident talent, it is hard to imagine that the 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound Kent State alumnus began his football career in the shadow of someone else. “My brother played football, and I basically ran behind him,” Cribbs said. “Everything he did, I wanted to do.” When he was old enough, Cribbs began playing recreational football, and he was hooked. A few years later, he progressed to high school, where he played quarterback for Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. During his final high school season, Cribbs won numerous titles and threw for more than 2,000 yards. One week, the Dunbar Crimson Tide played Saint Ignatius in Cleveland, and Cribbs and his teammates had the opportunity to practice at Kent State.

ABOVE: Cleveland Browns ball carrier Josh Cribbs dodges the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Clint Kriewladt on a return in the fourth quarter. The Steelers defeated the Browns, 31-28, at Heinz Field, in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. (MCT Campus) RIGHT: Josh Cribbs first started his football career at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. He took his talents to Kent to play for the Golden Flashes then to the Cleveland Browns. 36 the burr Fall 2011

LEFT: Josh Cribbs transitioned from being a quarterback at Kent State to a kick returner for the Browns in 2005. BELOW: The Pittsburgh Steelers Allen Rossum (30) chases down Cleveland Browns Josh Cribbs (16) on a 90-yard return in the first quarter. The Steelers defeated the Browns, 31-28, at Heinz Field, in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. (MCT Campus) PAGE 40: MCT Campus

fall 2011 issue 1 37

38 the burr Fall 2011


I didn’t believe I was capable of doing that. josh cribbs

“While my high school team was practicing, the coach came and offered me a full scholarship,” Cribbs said. He accepted the scholarship, and his first official trip to campus was through the PASS Program. After visiting the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which was brand new at the time, he knew he wanted to go to Kent State. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is what college is about,’” Cribbs said. “When I went to Kent, it was the perfect thing I was looking for in a college and where I wanted to go.” After growing up in D.C., he felt it was a good decision to escape the city and go to a town centered on a college. “I wanted to get away and start a name for myself,” Cribbs said. And he did. As a freshman, he rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards, and in his four years, he rushed more than 3,500 yards and threw more than 7,000 yards — a feat only four other quarterbacks in NCAA history have accomplished. Laing Kennedy, Kent State’s athletic director from 1994 to 2010, said Cribbs is the most talented football player he has ever been around. “Even when games were lost, he would just have a phenomenal game,” Kennedy said. “He would leave nothing on the table.” Kennedy remembers a game against Miami where Cribbs completely exhausted himself, and he had — what Kennedy would describe as — a total body cramp.

“He physically and mentally had nothing more to give,” Kennedy said. “He was just spent. That’s him.” Cribbs originally wasn’t supposed to be in a starting role. The Kent State coaching staff wanted to hold him back at first, but the starting quarterback got injured, so Cribbs got an opportunity to lead the team. “He started and never stopped,” Kennedy said. “I remember the attitude around our team was, ‘We need to take care of that kid; we really want him to be very, very successful.’” And he was. While Cribbs played for Kent State, many NFL teams scouted him, but he wanted to play for the Browns. While other teams tried to sell Cribbs “pipe dreams,” the Browns’ scout offered him a starting position instead of riding the bench. He also said it was a good opportunity because fans in the Cleveland area had already heard his name from playing at Kent State. In April 2005, the Browns signed him as an undrafted free agent, and he became a kick returner that season. Cribbs admitted it was a big transition from quarterback to special teams. “Just from playing quarterback to not having the ball every play, not being the man on the team that everybody counted on to win the game — that was the biggest transition,” Cribbs said. “[I had] to basically start from scratch all over again.”

Although Cribbs made the jump from offense to special teams, Kennedy felt that the Browns knew his athletic ability would transcend any position he played. “Because of the roster size, they needed second-line players that could do many things like run back punts, run back kicks, be a thirdstring quarterback, second-string wide receiver,” Kennedy said. “He could do many things, and in fact, if you asked him, he would play defense; he’d be a great defensive back.” Cribbs’ enthusiasm on the field is no secret, especially to his former Flashes teammates. Kennedy once asked several Kent State offensive linemen during the Cribbs Era what it was like to be in the huddle with Cribbs. As a young star among 300-plus pound teammates and the weight of the game in his hands, his excitement led him to speak at a rapid rate. His teammates could barely understand him, so they would go up to the line and “block like hell” to anticipate Cribbs taking off down the field. “He would turn a broken play into maybe an 80-yard run,” Kennedy said. “He’d be disappointed if every play didn’t go for a touchdown. He just had that mentality.” Even as a professional athlete, Cribbs said he still gets incredibly hyped before games, and he listens to music to calm himself down. “I’m so anxious I usually have asthma attacks before games because I have so much excitement built up,” Cribbs said. fall 2011 issue 1 39

If you’re trying to reach this huge goal, I think that along the way you’ll set a lot of goals for yourself, and you’ll reach a lot of achievements.” josh cribbs

40 the burr Fall 2011


“I listen to things that will calm me down, you know, some old slow songs, love music, something just to calm my nerves, so I can go out there and happily win games.” Although he focuses every week on getting a “W” for his team, he juggles his family life after his workday ends. “Even though we put a lot of hours in at work, we can’t neglect our families,” Cribbs said. “We can’t not go home and spend some quality time with the kids because they expect you to be Dad at home also.” He knows his daughter, Kimorah, 8, and son, Israel, 2, are going to have bragging rights, so that is a major motivation for him as an NFL player. He met his wife of nine years, Maria, as a student at Kent State, and they went on their first date in the Rathskeller during a karaoke night. “I got up there and embarrassed myself,” Cribbs said. “I looked at the words on the karaoke machine and got them wrong. Everybody started laughing at me. That kind of won her over — that I was able to make a fool out of myself. I had the guts to do it.” It takes more than guts to play in front of thousands of people every week, and Cribbs said he is blessed to get to play a sport he loves as a career. For those who are trying to achieve a dream life, Cribbs’ advice is to set

very high goals. “If you’re trying to reach this huge goal, I think that along the way you’ll set a lot of goals for yourself, and you’ll reach a lot of achievements,” Cribbs said. “You might find your true niche.” Cribbs spends time giving away life advice — and autographs — on another platform: Twitter. “I love the fan interaction,” Cribbs said. “If I tweet something, I get feedback almost immediately.” He keeps in constant contact with his fans while posting photos, asking trivia questions and updating his thoughts. “It’s a good way to have fun,” Cribbs said. “[It gives] the fans insight on your life that you may never have seen before.” Some fans choose a different approach to get a more personal glimpse of Cribbs. On July 20, he was relaxing in his backyard on his hammock when he noticed something, which caused him to tweet: “Trynna take a nap on the hammock but I see some kids looking at me from another development thru some woods #kindacreepy lol it’s all good!” The kids apologized and eventually left. Although he is accustomed to intrusions in real life, on Twitter, there is a major downside. Some people say things that rile him up to get noticed, and Cribbs refers to them as “telephone tough guys,” but there is one guy who Cribbs depends on to tell the truth, even things he doesn’t want to hear. “My brother is the one who I call to basically tell me the truth about how I played or what’s going

on,” Cribbs said. “I can count on him to tell me the real deal, what’s going on, and what I should have done without him sugar coating it.” Cribbs’ career essentially began under the influence of his brother, Harold, and without that, he would not be the person — or player — he is today. Cribbs credits a major event in his life as a recognition given to him by Kent State. On Oct. 30, 2010, Cribbs’ No. 9 jersey was retired during a mid-field ceremony as a part of Joshua Cribbs Day. “That was a dream — a milestone — in my life,” Cribbs said. “Kent State will be there 100 years after I’m gone. It’s like leaving a legacy. Fifty years from now, somebody is going to open a book and read my accomplishments.” On that day, Cribbs donated $100,000 for athletic scholarships, which gives other players the opportunity to play and learn — just like he did. “That’s only the beginning,” Kennedy said. “The thing that puts Joshua Cribbs, in my experience with him, on a different level than most everyone else is that he stayed connected to the program. He lights a fire.” His spark shattered numerous records and raised the standards on the field. His enthusaism for the sport shines with every play and public appearance. Josh Cribbs, the football player, accomplished his goal of making a name for himself, but Josh Cribbs, the person, has a remarkable future ahead of him. And he won’t be in anyone’s shadow. b

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42 the burr fall 2011


unwavering beLiefs you know how you’re not supposed to talk about religion and politics? well, we mixed ‘em together. fall 2011 issue 1 43

keeping the


words Alyssa Morlacci photos Jackie friedman

Every Kent State graduate leaves the university with a similar document as proof of his or her attendance; however, the experiences represented by each diploma cannot be replicated and handed out to every successful set of hands. Muslim, Christian and Jewish students have their own unique stories about different hardships and prosperities of being faith-devoted college undergraduates. Although these three students come from different backgrounds, they share a unique bond. Each imparts wisdom and reverence to all who know them, sharing the common goal of living the values of their respective faiths.

One time when I was going to get groceries, a complete stranger yelled out to me to take that towel off my head.


aiza ashraf

iza Ashraf is a senior at Kent State in the Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine program. She loves cats and also has an affinity for winning radio contests. The “towel” a passerby referenced was her hijab, a head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women like Ashraf. Seeing her on Kent campus surrounded by friends who seem to enjoy her company and who know her character, it is difficult for her fellow students to imagine that others might disrespect her religious garb. “Comments like those, I feel, are due to ignorance and hate,” Ashraf said. After solemnly reflecting on those types of comments, she quickly returned to her vivaciousness and said, “For the number of times those incidents happen, there are so many more that are positive.” Ashraf does not waste much time dwelling on her negative experiences and focuses on the positives. “My friends are really supportive. They’re really curious and accepting.” Acceptance from others isn’t the only challenge a young Muslim woman faces while attending college. “Classes sometimes conflict with times I have to pray, so I might have to make it up a little later,” Ashraf said. “There are five pillars in Islam, and the one you do daily is praying five times a day. There is a month called Ramadan in the Lunar Muslim calendar where you fast every day for a month from dawn until sunset and refraining from food, drink, sex and bad behavior — like cheating and lying.” 44 the burr Fall 2011

Dating is an assumed recreation for many college students, but to Ashraf, it is a very exclusive matter. “Personally, I don’t date. For me, I feel like the only accepted intimate relationship in Islam between a man and a woman is marriage, but I do have many close friends who are guys.” Ashraf also experiences limits in the party scene, an even more assumed college credential. “Drinking is not allowed in Islam, but [my friends] don’t expect me to drink because they can, and I don’t expect them not to drink just because I don’t. It’s a lot about respect and mutual understanding.” “Whatever I do, I try to stick to my morals and make sure I never do anything that I would regret. Some Muslims completely avoid the party scene because they don’t want to be around things forbidden to them, and some even participate in partying to the point where they drink. But each person is different, and there is no standard for a Muslim kid in college. It’s all about who you are, how you were raised and what you believe in.” Ashraf said that although her family lives in Indiana, they give her all the support they can. She also mentioned an on campus Muslim Students Association. “They do a lot to get Muslims involved in school.”



atthew Schitkovitz is a selfproclaimed “fourth-year junior” majoring in communications. He was a child actor for short films and commercials, and he is now a member of Kappa Sigma. Schitkovitz also said he is in love with his Jewish religion. “I’m so in love with it that I actually have four tattoos,” Schitkovitz emphasized this with his hand gestures; the movement allowed a brief glance at one of his tattoos that emerged from beneath the right side of his T-shirt. Schitkovitz said he has a tattoo on his other bicep as well, along with one on his back and one on his left shoulder — all are either religious symbols or prayers. Schitkovitz embraces his faith to the extent of displaying it on his body, but he finds others have difficulty respecting his beliefs. “I don’t have any acceptance issues; however, I see people have issues accepting me.” He said people approach him “bantering


I hate the idea of religion. You don’t have your relationship with God based on rules. It’s all based on love. We can’t earn a relationship — He wants to be sarah deward with us.

how I killed Jesus or not understanding how I don’t believe in Jesus.” He also mentioned that people can be unsympathetic to the Holocaust. Schitkovitz does not only look to his family for religious support. He also finds it in the Hillel, Kent State’s Jewish Student Center. “They’re always encouraging me to not let people get the best of me for being Jewish,” he said. “The Hillel is a great place to go. They’re always open to talking about religion or events. It’s a great place to go to hang out, a comfortable place.” Schitkovitz celebrates holidays through the Hillel. He said that Jewish students take holidays off, so it is sometimes a struggle returning to class. Schitkovitz is anticipating a trip to Israel this winter with his sister. He said the trip will be sponsored by an outside organization; however, Schitkovitz said that many people can fulfill the religious trip through the Hillel.

arah Deward is a sophomore design major, a diehard Green Bay Packers fan and a three-cups-of-coffee-aday consumer. Deward doesn’t like to view her Christian faith as a religion if it is interpreted as a practice of rules. “It isn’t a rule-driven religion; it’s a gracedriven life,” Deward said, with an iced coffee from Jazzman’s in hand. Deward attends and is a life-group leader for the on-campus church, H2O. “I try to go to church every week for fellowship and learning. I also go to life-groups affiliated with H2O for fellowship and learning. I try to read the bible every day and spend time in the Word.” In order to stay loyal to practices, Deward is challenged with time management. “I’m one of those people who needs to get things done, so, it’s a lot of setting time aside for God.” Deward is not shy about her faith and said, “People are pretty accepting. If they don’t share my beliefs, I’ve never run into a problem. Yeah, I’m into Jesus, but I’m not going to hit you with the Bible.” Deward affirms that support is extremely important in her life, surrounding herself

I can tell you right now, coming to Kent State, I have been the first Jewish person many people have met. matthew schitkovitz

with people who share her beliefs. “I grew up going to church; my family is very encouraging and supporting. I’m big on encouragement,” she said. “In H2O, the people are there for you no matter what — to talk to you, to encourage you and to express these bonds of friendship where you know they have your back no matter what.” By joining and associating with people who inspire her, she sees her own college experience as being different from that of others. “It’s more of a ‘let’s-go-drink-and-party’ atmosphere. I’m pretty confident in who I am, and I’ve never wanted to be in that kind of environment. It isn’t because I am religious, but your values change.” Dating is another situation in which Deward keeps her faith in mind. “I’m OK with dating. As far as my life goes, I am kind of picky. I want him to understand my faith and have his own relationship with God, which is a big thing.” Deward also stressed that H2O welcomes anyone to come and learn about Christianity, no matter the person’s faith or beliefs. b fall 2011 issue 1 45

f o s s a Cl


PRESIDENTIAL SUPERLATIVES words meGHan boGardus photos mct camPus

The season of gaffes, endless bickering and drama is upon us, and this time, it’s only the Republicans who are facing off. Yep, that’s right. It’s election season, and we’ve got your class of 2012.

Barack OBama

ClAss president (the one to BeAt) knoWn For: Being the first black president in the U.s., good looks and liberal policies

46 the burr fall 2011


Our experts:

Bryan Staul President of College Democrats STREngThS: The stimulus act, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. WEAknESSES: Jobs

Greg Allison President of College Republicans STREngThS: Strong fundraising WEAknESSES: Jobs

Our experts say: Staul

STREngThS: Good fundraising WEAknESSES: Gaffes

“She’s expressed a lack of knowledge about the most basic things of government and American history.”


STREngThS: Strong base of supporters WEAknESSES: Alienating mainstreamers

“She might not have brought enough support in the party to win the nomination.”

michele BaChmann Most likelY to Be on dAnCing With the stArs

knoWn For: Being sarah palin 2.0, confusing John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne gacy and being subservient to her husband

fall 2011 issue 1 47

faith Staul

Our experts say:

STREngThS: Dedicated following WEAknESSES: Radical views

“We like Social Security. We like Medicare. We like some government in our lives.”


STREngThS: Energetic support base WEAknESSES: Lack of mainstream support “He has a very enthusiastic base, but he doesn’t have enough broad support from the party.”

Ron paul

Most likelY to QUietlY tAke oVer the World knoWn For: Wanting to make government so small it is microscopic, a desire to legalize marijuana and enthusiastic supporters

Our experts say: Staul

STREngThS: Lots of experiences WEAknESSES: Too much similarity to his predecessor “He’s very reminiscent of George Bush’s political past.”


STREngThS: Strong organization

“I think he’ll have some good backing coming in from the party.”

Rick peRRy

Mr. ChArisMA

WEAknESSES: Could be seen as a little bit radical

knoWn For: replacing W. in the post of governor of texas and going from underdog to front-runner 48 the burr fall 2011

faith Our experts say: Staul

STREngThS: Name recognition and money WEAknESSES: Romneycare

“He can’t win because the health care bill he passed was identical to the health care bill Obama passed.”


STREngThS: Popularity, of course

“He’s very strong when it comes to organization, donations and support from the party.”

mitt ROmney

WEAknESSES: Liberalism/Romneycare

Mr. popUlAr

knoWn For: nearly getting the nomination in 2008, passing romneycare and having hair similar to a ken doll


Our experts say:

STREngThS: Business experience WEAknESSES: Very antiintellectual viewpoint


STREngThS: Great speaker with a lot of great ideas WEAknESSES: Donations

herman CaIn the WAllFloWer

knoWn For: 9-9-9, his desire to be the second black president and not having facts to back things up

fall 2011 issue 1 49

50 the burr Fall 2011


just desserts Rush through your dinner and go straight to the dessert menu? Better yet, dig right in to these sweet treats. fall 2011 issue 1 51


Dessert crawl

words Taylor Rogers photos Jackie Elliott

graphic Kelly Lipovich

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I blame my dad for my sweet tooth. Every Sunday night when I was growing up, we’d get ice cream. But not just at the same old place down the street — we’d drive 20 to 30 minutes sometimes to try something new. One of my favorite trips was to New Baltimore Ice Cream, about a half hour drive from my house. Blueberry Muffin flavor was my favorite. Pieces of sweet muffin were sprinkled throughout a creamy, blueberry ice cream. I was in love. As I grew up and my taste buds grew to appreciate the magic that could only come from a baked good, our hobby became something I did on my own, too. When I travel, I scan the Web in search of local dessert blogs and top-rated bakeries. I track them down, and I indulge. It’s my favorite travel activity. So it only makes sense that I should do the same in our quaint town of Kent, Ohio. It may not be a big city, but we have no shortage of good places with even better desserts to get your taste buds tingling.

food Anthony’s Café and Cakes 128 South Water Street I have had breakfast at Anthony’s before, but I’d never taken the time to try one of their baked treats. I hope I didn’t alarm the man who was working when I loudly declared, “I’ll take that!” It was a sticky bun, and it wasn’t a difficult choice for me. If you put some bread with butter and cinnamon in front of me, I’m going to eat it. The only drawback to Anthony’s? You can’t use your debit or credit card for purchases under $5. The cost of my sticky bun wasn’t near that, so I willingly picked out some donuts smothered in chocolate. I’m not complaining.

Stahl’s Bakery 422 East Main Street

Scribbles Coffee Co. 237 North Water Street I know this may not seem like the perfect place to find a delicious dessert, but it’s the ideal café when you want a nice place to sit down, sip on some good coffee and pair it with something sweet. I absolutely loved their Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal muffin. It was the perfect partner to my butter rum-flavored coffee. But I think the best part about this muffin is that it allows you to get away with eating a dessert at 9 a.m. And, well, that’s really all I’ve ever wanted.

When I walked into Stahl’s to choose my favorite baked good, my eyes caught a sign by the door with two magic words: Coconut Macaroons. I had to have them. But when the woman behind the counter divulged that she’d soon be pulling the Caramel Brownies from the oven, I said I’d come back. I mean, who in their right mind would turn down a soft brownie layered with smooth caramel? I didn’t regret it. This is, without a doubt, the best brownie I’ve had. Oh, and, I got the macaroons, too. Can you blame me?

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food Main Street Cupcakes 238 North Main Street Hudson, Ohio 44236 I made the 20-minute drive to Hudson and ran lovingly into the open arms of Main Street Cupcakes. It is my favorite place — no contest. It has the flair of a big-city bakery with the friendliness of your favorite local patisserie. It wouldn’t be any stretch of the imagination to say that I’m in love. The flavors are creative, fun and most of all, completely delicious. I picked four cupcakes, which really don’t do the place justice, but you’ll get the idea.

Mimosa cupcake

Mint Chocolate Chip cupcake The beautiful thing about Main Street Cupcakes is that it’s not just the frosting that’s delicious. The cake is fluffy and flavorful, and that’s what I loved most about this cupcake. Yes, the mint frosting was wonderfully refreshing, but that chocolate cake was perfection.

It tasted like my 16th birthday. I was giddy and smiling as the bubbly, pink frosting made it’s way to my mouth, and I stayed that way until the last bite. It’s better than the real thing.

Chocolate Strawberry and Champagne cupcake I know. How did they think this one up? It’s probably my favorite of the four. It had that bubbly frosting that I loved so much about the Mimosa and the rich chocolate cake of the Mint Chocolate Chip with a hint of strawberry. Who says you can’t have it all?

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Dessert, for me, is nostalgic, and this dessert crawl was bliss. It’s a simple, cheap way to turn a bad day into a good one and a good day into an even better one.

Macchiato cupcake I had to choose this. After all, I order Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiatos like there’s soon to be a shortage. I’ll probably do the same with this cupcake. It tasted just like my favorite drink.


3 Minute Brownies

graphic rachael chillcott fall 2011 issue 1 55

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miscellaneous Do you love video games, supernatural stuff and... well, love? We gathered a random assortment of amusements to keep your day entertained. fall 2011 issue 1 57

Breaking down E3 2011 words Conner Howard photos Thomas Song

Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, is regarded as the definitive trade show for the video game industry. Throngs of press personnel flock to E3 on a yearly basis to catch a glimpse of what the future of gaming has to offer. Leading game developers and publishing companies show off the latest and greatest in upcoming titles, hardware and gaming accessories. Back in its late 1990s to early 2000s heyday, E3 was a Mecca of theatric conferences, floor demos, booth babes and sneak peeks. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg to gain entry, and gaming enthusiasts had their own equivalent of Burning Man at which to celebrate their favored hobby. In 2007, the expo underwent a dramatic shift in size and direction. E3 has since become a scaled-down press event, centered around intimate displays and press conferences. The glamor-

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ous bells and whistles once associated with E3 were gone. The upside to all this was that emphasis was put back on the games, as the expo became less of a zoo and more of a trade show. Since the transformation, it has become a streamlined gaming industry event, which acts as the nerve center of the gaming industry. Among the most substantial announcements this year was Nintendo’s unveiling of its new hand-held — but not exactly portable — platform, the WiiU. Looking at the WiiU, it is clear that gaming technology hasn’t missed a step in its relentless march toward putting virtual-reality microchips in our brains. E3 has always been the lens through which the players and consumers view the state of video game hardware, and this year’s conference didn’t disappoint with systems like the WiiU and Sony’s PS Vita hitting

fun the public forum. With mobile Wi-Fi connectivity becoming a standard in current console design and with improved hardware features such as the PS Vita’s dual analog sticks, the next generation of core gaming systems is showing boundless potential.       There was no shortage of exciting game announcements this year, with major developer Ubisoft unveiling the latest installment in its critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed series, “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.” Microsoft also kicked off the next trilogy in the Halo franchise by announcing “Halo 4,” and Nintendo pleased fans by unveiling the latest Zelda installment, “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.” Holy predictability, Batman! That sure is a lot of sequels! It is no secret that sequels are the bread and butter of the video game industry. After all, if an original game sells well, it takes less effort to follow it up with a similar game from the same setting than to take a financial risk on a brand-new intellectual property. It is basic business. A primary draw of E3 has always been to see all the big name titles from the established and critically acclaimed fran-

chises soak up the spotlight, and 2011 was no different. While it would truly be a breath of fresh air to see more original ideas at future E3 conferences, it just makes less sense financially for game publishers and developers to make these original games. Unfortunately, money talks. On the bright side, original game such as “RAGE,” “Dishonored” and “I Am Alive” show us all that creativity is alive and well in the development world.  One contentious issue in the gaming industry right now is the showdown between the mammoth military shooting franchises “Battlefield” and “Modern Warfare.” With “Battlefield 3” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” nearing the end of their development cycles, first-person-shooter fans are divided over the competition. Luckily, E3 2011 brought with it plenty of in-game footage and hands-on demo time to help set the two titles apart. So far, a major difference between the two games looks to be the sense of scale. “Modern Warfare” has traditionally been focused on giving a tight, focused infantry combat experience, with fast and furious firefights and gratuitous cinematic explosions. The “Battlefield” franchise, on the other hand, is known for a more broad scope of military action, including vehicles and wider, less linear game worlds. “I think when you’re talking about Battlefield, you have to look at its DNA as a huge massively multiplayer online action game that originated with these huge levels with lots of different vehicles in them,” said Shaun McInnis, associate reviews editor at GameSpot in GameSpot’s “E3 Aftermath: Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3” video. “And that’s different from Modern Warfare, which is traditionally an on-foot combat first-person shooter series.” While the shooters throw down, the adventure games get dumbed down. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” the upcoming role-playing game from Bethesda Softworks, is shaping up to be a sharp, detailed and gratifying hack-and-slash experience. However, it seems shallow and watered-down when compared to previous entries in the Elder Scrolls series, as it is missing several of the more nuanced features the franchise is known for, such as character classes and attributes. This no isolated phenomenon: just look at 2010 title “Splinter Cell: Conviction” and upcoming “Hitman: Absolution.” This is telling of a larger trend of modern game developers trying to cater to the casual gaming crowd with less involved, more accessible titles. In the meantime, more serious players are denied a demanding, hardcore experience. Will this concerning trend be rectified in the future? Only time will tell. b

LEFT: A screen shows the 25th anniversary celebration of “The Legend of Zelda” video game series, during the Nintendo conference. TOP: A model holds a new WiiU controller on the Nintendo demo floor. BOTTOM: Crowds walk past a life-size “Gears of War 3” display.

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Romancin’ Campus the top three spots for your next date


words racHel Jones photo tHomas sonG ah, love. Whether it’s with the cutie you met at the student Center or the high school sweetheart you left at home, Kent state students are definitely pairing off. and while they might be convenient, sharing a bowl of easy Mac in your dorm room or screaming over the bass at Water street tavern aren’t exactly romantic dates, but we’re here to help. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you can’t pull off a movie-worthy night out. Check out these three hot spots the next time you’re looking to swoon your sweetie. trust me, nicholas sparks would approve.

riverside wine and imports 911 north Mantua street


may our love be like good wine, growing stronger as it grows older.

old english toast

Wine is usually a staple for romantic dinners — only if you’re 21. And Riverside Wine and Imports can hook you up. They sell 1,800 varieties of wine and more than 400 brands of beer. Couples can choose to sit under the soft lighting in the retail section, which has a bar and individual

tables. But the best view is from the smoke-free deck, which overlooks the Cuyahoga River and railroad tracks. The deck is surrounded by potted flowers, lights and walls painted to look like an Italian village. After a night of soft music and intimate conversations, you two can even buy a bottle — or two — to take home.

cozy dock overlooking the water Kent state hike and bike trail


One of the reasons “The Notebook” is so romantic is half of the scenes were filmed on the water. It’s still, peaceful and the perfect backdrop for getting closer to that special someone. Tucked away in the leafy trails behind the Sum-

mit East parking lot is a secluded dock, overlooking the water. The wooden benches put your backs to the trail, so all you can see is the water and each other. Take your date to this quiet and intimate spot to watch the sunset, enjoy a picnic or just cuddle.

love is like water. we can fall in it. we can drown in it. and we can’t live without it. author unknown 60 the burr fall 2011

fun metro Parks stow


Whether you and your honey are in the walking, running or obnoxiously skipping hand-inhand stage of your relationship, all forms can be done at a park. It’s the best place to talk in private, so you can really get to know each other while

wandering through trees and trails. Obviously, parks are public, so you might have some company. But if you reach a clearing without anyone else around, you will feel like the only people in the world. We recommend enjoying that beautiful, peaceful moment at the Metro Parks in Stow.

you have to walk carefully in the beginning of love. the running across fields into your lover’s arms can only come later when you’re sure they won’t laugh if you trip. jonathon carroll

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between the

The art of palmistry words Leighann McGivern

I’ve always had a fascination with all things psychic or supernatural. I check my horoscope daily. I’m a junky for shows like “Ghost Adventures” and “Psychic Kids,” and I firmly believe the fact that I look at the clock every day at 3:14 p.m. — my birthday — is some sort of omen. Up until this assignment, I’ve only had one short psychic reading, which revealed little more than the fact that I won’t be getting married until later in life — which I stubbornly refuse to believe. I’ve driven past the “Psychic Reading” sign dozens of times, always wondering how a roadside psychic in a college town could possibly make a living. About $35 and a very disturbing experience later, I’m still wondering. After what was supposed to be a palm reading — in reality, she just held my hands, stared creepily into my eyes and told me I was an intelligent person who was experiencing some “spiritual rough patches” — she tried to coerce me into paying $300 for spiritual advising. I politely declined and got the hell out of there. Even though I was “spiritually scarred” from my first palm reading encounter, I decided to give it another shot at Empire on East Main Street in downtown Kent. When you purchase $7.50 in merchandise, you receive a complimentary palm reading or henna tattoo, depending on the day of the week. This time around, the experience was far less disturbing, and the woman actually told me things that related to my life and personality. She examined everything from my hand flexibility and texture to the lines on my hands and shape of my fingernails, all under the view of a magnifying glass. While I highly suggest taking a trip over to Empire for a more detailed reading, I’ve put together a little guide so you can learn the basics of palm reading for yourself. While palm reading may not be a completely accurate means of interpreting a person’s life and future, I was surprised by how closely her predictions resembled my life and personality. The important thing to remember is not to take everything you hear as verbatim. After all, it’s up to you to choose your own destiny. b 62 the burr Fall 2011

Love Line Your Love Line is the top line on your palm that begins under your index or middle finger and extends toward your pinky. The Love Line reveals your emotions and past experiences dealing with love. Line starts directly underneath the index finger: You are content with your love life. Line begins right below the middle finger: You have a selfish and materialistic outlook when it comes to love. Line begins between the middle and index finger: You give your heart away too easily. Straight and short: You have a high sex drive. Long and curvy: You freely express your emotions and feelings. Straight and parallel to the Head Line: You have a good handle on your emotions. Circles on the line: You have had times of depression in your life. Broken line: You have had emotional trauma. Lines extending upward: You have happiness in love. Lines extending downward: You’ve had disappointment in love. My Love Line begins between my middle and index finger, which says I give my heart away too easily. I was also told that my love line showed signs of bad past relationships with men who didn’t treat me very well (story of my life).

Head Line Your Head Line is directly below your Love Line and extends across the center of your palm. This line doesn’t necessarily have to do with your intelligence but rather how you think and perceive. It can reveal your beliefs, morals and general attitude toward life. Short line: You prefer working toward physical achievements rather than mental ones. Curved, sloping line: You are creative. Head Line and Life Line are separated: You enjoy adventure and have great enthusiasm. Wavy line: You have a short attention span and don’t enjoy deep thinking. Deep, long line: Your thinking is focused. The straighter the line, the more realistic your thinking is. Donut or crosses in line: You’ve been through an emotional crisis. Broken line: You are inconsistent in the way you think and have trouble making decisions. Multiple crosses through line: These represent momentous decisions in your life. My Head Line indicated that I’m very intelligent and intuitive and that I’m a people person. The palmist told me I’m the kind of person who prefers to be independent and keep my private life to myself. She also said when working in a group with others, I’d prefer to do all of the work myself rather than let other people have a say, which I must admit is 100 percent true.

Life Line The Life Line is situated between your index finger and thumb and tells all about your quality of life. Line runs close to thumb: You are often tired. Curvy line: You are energetic. Long, deep line: You’ll have a long, healthy life. Short and shallow: You let others control your life at times. Line is straight and stays close to the edge of palm: You are cautious when it comes to relationships and often hold back from love. Circle in line: You were hospitalized or injured. Break in line: You experienced a sudden change in lifestyle, which could be an accident, a bout of illness or heartbreak. Lines extending upward: You are good at recovering from bad situations. Lines extending downward: You tend to waste energy. My Life Line has a lot of circles, and therefore, I’ve had a lot of medical issues in the past — I’ve gotten strep throat about twice a year every year of my life and gotten too many X-rays to count. Because my life line is shallow compared to my other lines, it shows that a lot of people try to have influences on my life and decisions. I have a lot of boundaries up when it comes to entering new relationships because of my past.

Which hand should I read?

When I went to Empire, the woman asked me whether I was right or left handed and did my reading based off my answer. In more thorough palm reading, however, a palmist should examine both of your hands.

Texture and Flexibility

Your palm’s texture and the flexibility of your hands reveal a lot about your nature.

Smooth — You’re sensitive. Rough — You have a tendency to be coarse in temperament. Flexible — You have an easygoing nature and readily accept new ideas. Overly flexible — You tend to be a pushover. Stiff — You have a rigid personality.

Finger spread — The space between fingers measures a person’s versatility and generosity. My hands show that I’m a generous person, but I am able to see easily when I’m being taken advantage of. I also like to come up with my own ideas, rather than listening to those of others. fall 2011 issue 1 63

LAst shot Thomas Song

Teace Snyder, 26, of New York, stands blindfolded handing out informational media during a 9/11 protest blaming the government for the attacks on the World Trade Center.

This year, I had the opportunity to cover the Sept. 11 memorial service in New York City. The day was filled with the tears and emotions you would expect from this event — that are deserving of this event. At the same time, a group of protesters nearby blamed the Bush administration for the attacks. Even though some view protests as something to dismiss, the emotions and conflicts I saw were raw, spontaneous and genuine. Behind the yelling crowd, which was protected by the police, was this man I photographed. He did not say a word. He stood wearing a 9/11 shirt and had an American flag blindfold over his eyes. When I walked up to him, he only said, “The truth.” 64 the burr Fall 2011

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The Burr | Fall 2011 Issue 1  

Kent State's general interest magazine